Could someone please describe the difference in small extractors? Someone mentioned a radial and I've heard another type mentioned.
A radial holds frames like spokes in a wheel. The honey comes out because of the slope of the cells.
A tangetal (can't remember how to spell it) holds the combs flat. You then have to reverse the combs.
Basically in a radial you put them in, gradually speed up until they are empty and take them out.
With a tangetal you put them in and spin about half of that side out and reverse them then spin all of that side out and reverse them again and spin the rest out of the first side.
A Reversible is a tangetal that you can flip the baskets around to reverse, without removing the combs.
Personally I think if you don't need a 9/18 radial, then you really don't need an extractor. The small ones take forever and it's quicker and cheaper to just smash and drain.
Comb honey is awsome and does not require an extractor.
I'm beginning to agree with you.(about not needing one)this is my first year,- two hives with another nuc coming next week. Maybe another hive or two next year.
However, I have two other new beekeeper friends in the same boat and we have already agreed to go together and split the cost of a good, motorized, small unit ($600 to $800). My "friend" status may change if I back out now.
My reason for the questions are to see if one style is any easier on the combs than the other.
The radial is so much better, I don't think you will find a "Tangenital" bigger than 3 frames.
If you are going together make it worth it. Buy a 9/18 radial. Anything smaller is a waste of money, unless you find a used one for $200 somewhere.
I can't really get you to imagine the difference, but I'll try.
I uncap two whole supers (18 frames - 9 frames in each) and put them into the extractor. I spin until they are done and remove two supers worth of frames.
Tangential 2 frame non reversing:
I uncap 2 frames and put them in the extractor and spin until half of one side is empty. I pull the frames out of the extractor and turn them around and put them back in the extractor and spin out the other side completely. Now I pull the frames out of the extractor and turn them around AGAIN and spin out the other half of the first side. Now I remove the two frame. I have to repeat this 9 more times before I have done the same two supers. I think a two frame tangential non-reversing extractor is 27 times as much work to extract the same amount of honey. A 9/18 radial extractor is no where near 27 times as expensive.
I could cut and squish two supers of honey into a double bucket in about the time you can extract two frames in a tangential non reversible.
A 9/18 fits through the doorway easily. Can be moved by one person (although two is more convenient). If you get bigger than a 20 frame it gets cumbersome to move around and get through a door.
I just bought 2 used extractors. I thought I read that you spin the frames in one direction for a while then spin in the reverse direction for a while to extract the other side of the frames...
Is this true? or do I just run it in one direction
start out spinning slow, then speed up a bit. then take the frames up, turn and put back in. start out spinning slow and then speed up a bit.
I heat my frames up in the sunshine first inside black plastic. Makes it thinner and I get more honey. But if it gets too hot, it messes up the wax.
With a radial, you can stop and start them spinning in the other direction. I haven't noticed any more honey coming out, but I usually do it because it takes no effort at all anyway and I usually stop it to see if it's done.
I don't think it makes any difference.